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the cryosphere

Roberto Furfaro, Alberto Previti, Paolo Picca, Jeﬀrey S. Kargel, and Michael P. Bishop

calculations. The common methods employed to

Radiative transfer (RT) modeling plays a key role in determine single-scattering albedo and scattering

interpreting the radiance measured by multispectral phase function, for both single-type particles and

sensors. Glaciers respond to variations in solar irra- mixtures, are discussed. In addition, although the

diance. At-sensor radiance depends upon glacier basic conservation of photons holds for both

surface material composition and intermixture of glaciers and glacier lake water, we have marked a

materials, solar and sensor geometry, and surface clear distinction between the equation of transfer

topography. To bridge the gap between investiga- for glacier surfaces and glacier lake water, as well as

tive ﬁndings and spectral data, a physically based between the methods employed to describe their

(i.e., based on ﬁrst principles) linkage between optical properties. The chapter also provides

properties of the observed surface and the measured examples of RT-based calculations for both BRF

electromagnetic signal should be established. Com- and spectral albedo in scenarios typically found in

plementing the treatment of related subjects in the cryosphere. Five simulation sets show how

Chapter 2 of this book by Bishop et al., in this remotely measurable quantities depend on the mor-

chapter we show how RT theory can be adapted phological and mineralogical properties of the med-

to derive radiative transfer equations (RTEs) that ium (e.g., BRF for mixtures of snow and debris;

are commonly employed to properly describe the spectral albedo variation for snow and carbon soot

radiative ﬁeld within, at the surface of, and above with varying grain size and particle concentration;

glaciers, debris ﬁelds, and glacier lakes. RTEs are and spectral variation of glacier lake water reﬂec-

derived using the basic principle of conservation of tance as a function of rock ‘‘ﬂour’’ concentration).

photons and are simpliﬁed to obtain equations that

are more mathematically tractable. Such equations

are numerically solved to compute quantities that 3.1 INTRODUCTION

are of interest in remote sensing (e.g., bidirectional

reﬂectance factor, BRF, and spectral albedo) that Remote sensing of the Earth’s cryosphere is an

are a function of the optical properties of the active research area, as glaciological processes are

observed surface. Accurate modeling of the optical closely linked to atmospheric, hydrospheric, and

properties of single-material particles (e.g., ice or lithospheric processes (Bush 2000, Shroder and

snow, water, lithic debris, and carbon soot) is crit- Bishop 2000, Meier and Wahr 2002) and a host

54 Radiative transfer modeling in the cryosphere

of issues of practical human concern. Global under- face morphology, and composition variations.

standing of cryospheric processes involves analysis Glacier surfaces are generally comprised of a

of glacier dynamics since they are aﬀected by and variety of materials and exhibit a complex reﬂec-

can inﬂuence climate change (Kotlyakov et al. 1991, tance distribution depending upon the spatial struc-

Seltzer 1993, Haeberli and Beniston 1998, Maisch ture of surface constituents. Spatial and temporal

2000). Thus, characterization and estimation of variations in debris cover and intimate or areal

glacier surface properties, such as ice grain size, mixtures between coarse-grained glacier ice, snow,

rock debris cover, and surface water distribution, liquid water, vegetation, and rock debris contribute

become critical to advancing our understanding of to highly variable reﬂectance as observed by in situ

glacier–climate relationships and glacier ﬂuctua- and platform-based sensors (Kargel et al. 2005).

tions (Bishop et al. 2004, Kargel et al. 2005). Modeling plays a central role in investigating the

Because of the ability of orbiting platforms to relationships between surface mixtures and reﬂec-

provide global and continuous coverage of vast tance, and can assist glacier mapping and charac-

portions of Earth’s surface, satellite imagery can terization. BRDF and BRF modeling are important

be processed to extract information about impor- functional components of scientiﬁc inquiry because

tant surface properties. Most space-based sensors they help bridge the gap between investigative

operate passively, measuring the magnitude of ﬁndings and ﬁeld-based and remote observations.

reﬂected/emitted surface radiance in the visible, For example, Mishchenko et al. (1999) modeled the

infrared, and thermal portions of the spectrum. directional reﬂectance pattern and its eﬀect on

The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and albedo for four types of soils, each characterized

reﬂection Radiometer (ASTER), Moderate Resolu- by a diﬀerent index of refraction. The BRF patterns

tion Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS), Polarization were generated for snow using three diﬀerent

and Directionality of Earth Reﬂectance instrument scattering phase functions (hexagonal ice, fractal

(POLDER), and Multi-angle Imaging Spectro- ice, and spherical ice) to examine the eﬀect of ice

Radiometer (MISR) are examples of current morphology on reﬂected radiation.

space-based instruments that collect such multi- Models can also be used to provide a basis for

spectral data. Each of these instruments can record surface parameter retrieval. For example, Piatek et

the directionality and intensity of surface radiance, al. (2004) use model inversion and laboratory-based

thereby recording information about scattering data to extract the basic optical properties of rego-

properties that are a function of wavelength. For lith as a function of the chemical composition and

icy surfaces on Earth, we require spatial and tem- grain size. Radiative transfer modeling was also

poral information about: (1) the amount of clear used by Painter et al. (2003) to generate a lookup

and dirty ice; (2) snow coverage and rock debris table comprising BRF patterns for spherical ice

(including both patchy and intimate mixtures); with variable grain size. Each of the elements of

(3) the distribution of ponded or ﬂowing water; the lookup table was considered an endmember

(4) the liquid water content of snow and grain size of the ice family, and a linear unmixing algorithm

of snow and ice; and (5) the extent of partial vegeta- was used to map grain-size distribution over alpine

tion cover (Kargel et al. 2005). These compositional glaciers.

and phase-state parameters are critical to character- Radiative transfer (RT) theory is the logical

izing the current state and recent dynamics of quantitative framework and physical basis for mod-

glaciers and, consequently, they are key to obtain- eling spectral and directional reﬂectance as a func-

ing a better understanding of the processes asso- tion of surface composition and granular texture.

ciated with the cryospheric impacts of climate Its theoretical basis was established by the seminal

change. work of Chandrasekhar (1960), who derived the

Quantitative characterization of surface basic radiative transfer equation (RTE) describing

properties using remotely sensed data requires the the transport of photons moving in a generic med-

deﬁnition of a functional relationship between ium characterized by speciﬁed optical properties.

surface properties and surface radiance. The bi- He also derived a set of techniques to determine

directional reﬂectance distribution function analytical and numerical solutions for a large

(BRDF) and/or the closely related bidirectional variety of radiative transfer problems. Whereas

reﬂectance factor (BRF), as well as the spectral the RTE is capable of describing the radiative

albedo, are the typical parameters employed to regime within a prescribed host medium, most of

describe surface reﬂectance given irradiance, sur- the eﬀorts involving solutions of the RTE focused

Radiative transfer modeling of glacier surfaces 55

on determining the number of photons reﬂected by rock debris) and, separately, the optical properties

a planetary surface as a function of incident radia- of glacier water. Methods currently employed to

tion, viewing geometry, and surface properties. The model the optical properties of mixtures are also

goal was to provide a means for quantitative inter- reported. Section 3.4 brieﬂy reviews the variety of

pretation of the signal collected by airborne and/or numerical methods available to solve the RTE and

spaceborne instruments. For example, Hapke discusses some of the RT codes available in the

(1981, 1986, 1993, 2002, 2008) devised a semi- literature. We then show some examples of simula-

empirical RTE-based bidirectional reﬂectance tions of albedo and BRF for a variety of scenarios

model that, under simplifying assumptions, allowed that are typically found on glacier surfaces.

the analytical computation of the surface reﬂec-

tance factor and other photometric properties of

interest. The Hapke model has been successful in

modeling the reﬂectance factor of a variety of

planetary surfaces in the solar system (e.g., Helfen- 3.2 RADIATIVE TRANSFER MODELING

stein et al. 1988, Warell et al. 2009) and it is very OF GLACIER SURFACES

popular in the planetary science community.

More recently, Mishchenko et al. (1999) devised Modeling the radiative regime of glacier surfaces

an eﬃcient and accurate BRF model that computes requires a quantitative understanding of how

surface reﬂectance without the need to evaluate the photons interact with complex surface composi-

light ﬁeld within the particulate surface. Accurate tions. RT theory provides the physical basis for

numerical models that solve the RTE to determine modeling spectral and directional reﬂectance as a

both the light ﬁeld within and reﬂected by the function of composition and granular texture. The

surface under investigation are also available. The RT problem and its mathematical machinery were

most popular model is DISORT (Stamnes et al. initially developed by Chandrasekhar (1960), who

1988), which is a generic RT code capable of simu- applied the model to the transfer of light in atmo-

lating the transport of photons in layered media spheres, oceans, and the interstellar medium. Here,

with speciﬁed composition and optical thickness. we are interested in detailing a modeling approach

A new multi-layer RT model based on recent theo- that yields RT equations capable of quantifying

retical and numerical advancements in solving the the light reﬂected and transmitted by glaciers and

RTE (Siewert 2000) has been developed and tested glacier lakes.

against currently available codes (Previti 2010; We begin by considering the general problem.

Previti et al. 2011; Picca et al. 2007, 2008a, Picca Sunlight is comprised of photons traveling through

2009). Whereas the new model is general enough to the atmosphere. Ultimately, they reach the Earth’s

model atmospheric RT, the Multi-layer Analytic surface and interact with media such as that of the

Discrete Ordinate Code (MADOC; Furfaro et al. surface of a glacier. The host medium is usually

2014) has been originally conceived to speciﬁcally characterized by an ensemble of particles with prop-

model the radiation regime within glacier environ- erties that are a function of their composition and

ments. spatial arrangement. Commonly, such ensembles of

This chapter focuses on a fundamental treatment particles include ice ranging from multicentimeter

of RT principles and the modeling of the radiation glacier ice to ﬁne-grained snow and frost, liquid

reﬂected by glacier surfaces over the spectral range water, suspended particles in the water, and rock

between 0.4 and 2.5 mm (VIS/NIR). We emphasize debris or soot resting on the glacier or intermixed in

the processes required to compute surface reﬂec- the optical zone of the ice and snow. The ensembles

tance (e.g., BRF and BRDF) and spectral albedo, are modeled here as dense particulate media that

which are the most meaningful parameters in opti- are illuminated by both direct and diﬀuse beams of

cal remote sensing of Earth and planetary surfaces. photons and whose optical properties can be indi-

In Section 3.2, the principles of RT are introduced vidually described by a ﬁnite number of parameters.

and explained with special emphasis on a modeling Such parameters are intended to describe how the

approach to adapt the generic RTE to properly medium interacts with light particles. Generally,

describe the radiative regime for glacier surfaces photons are either absorbed or scattered. A single

and glacier lakes. In Section 3.3, we provide a photon can undergo multiple scattering before it is

thorough description of the optical properties of either absorbed by, or exits from the medium back

materials comprising a glacier surface (snow, ice, into the atmosphere and space. Modeling radiative

56 Radiative transfer modeling in the cryosphere

transport in dense particulate media is commonly Ss ðI 0 EIÞ ¼ ! ðÞp ð; cos YÞ where ! ðÞ and

done either stochastically or deterministically. p ð; cos YÞ are the single-scattering albedo and

Here, we will utilize a deterministic modeling the scattering phase function, respectively, and

approach that consists in formulating an integro- Y ¼ cos 1 ðI 0 EIÞ is the angle between the two

diﬀerential equation derived from a fundamental directions (see Section 3.2.2 for a more precise

law of physics (i.e., the balance of photons in the deﬁnition of both ! ðÞ and p ð; cos YÞ).

appropriate phase space). In classical RT theory, To complete the mathematical description of the

the medium is assumed to be a collection of dimen- balance of photons interacting with the host med-

sionless scattering and absorbing centers uniformly ium, proper boundary conditions that account for

distributed in a diﬀerential volume. The photons’ the radiative ﬂux of photons entering the medium

behavior is determined by the probability of scatter- must be provided. Importantly, for the case of ice,

ing and/or absorption within the host medium, snow, debris, and their mixtures, the scattering pro-

assuming that streaming is possible between inter- cess does not alter photons’ energy (i.e., interaction

actions. If the conservation of photons is applied in with the host medium does not shift wavelength).

six-dimensional phase space (i.e., position and Therefore, photons maintain their energy while

velocity), the following equation is utilized: changing direction. Eq. (3.1) can then be solved

independently at each wavelength to determine

1 @I ðr; I; tÞ the radiative regime of the observed surface. In

þ IErI ðr; I; tÞ þ Stot ðrÞI ðr; I; tÞ

c @t supraglacial lakes, Raman scattering requires that

Z

1 photons change energy during their interaction pro-

¼ dI 0 Ss ðr; I 0 ! IÞI ðr; I 0 ; tÞ ð3:1Þ

4 cess. Consequently, eq. (3.1) must be modiﬁed with

an additional wavelength-dependent source term

where I ðr; I; tÞ is the spectral radiance (energy/m 2 that accounts for such eﬀects on overall photon

sr s) of photons at location r traveling in the balance (see Section 3.2.3). Bioluminescence is nor-

direction I ¼ ð; ’Þ within the cone dI. Spectral mally absent or negligible and is ignored for glacial

radiance is the (unknown) physical quantity that lakes.

describes the light distribution within, entering, Eq. (3.1) is an integro-diﬀerential whose solution

and exiting the host medium. Importantly, and has challenged researchers for decades. In the radia-

’ are cosines of the inclination angle and the azi- tive transfer and particle transport communities, it

muth angle, respectively, which are used to describe is known as the linearized Boltzmann equation

the photons’ direction of motion. The two terms on (LBE) and generally does not have any analytical,

the left-hand side of eq. (3.1) represent net energy closed-form solution. Although eq. (3.1) is the basis

loss of photons streaming out of the phase space for our modeling, several assumptions must be

which is balanced by energy loss due to the scatter- enforced to derive a more manageable form. One

ing and absorption (third term) and the inscattering immediate simpliﬁcation comes from the observa-

of photons in the phase space (right-hand side). The tion that the 1=c term factoring the time derivative

participating medium is described by the absorption of I ðr; I; tÞ is smaller than the intensity ﬂux time

and scattering coeﬃcients. Here, Stot ðrÞ is the total rate (Davis and Knyazikhin 2005). The latter

interaction coeﬃcient, deﬁned as the sum of the implies that a steady state is reached almost instan-

absorption and scattering coeﬃcient (Stot ðrÞ ¼ taneously. Indeed, radiative transfer in passive

Sabs ðrÞ þ Ssca ðrÞ). In addition, Ss ðr; I 0 ! IÞ is remote-sensing applications is generally modeled

the diﬀerential scattering coeﬃcient (also called as a stationary phenomenon; time-dependent RT

diﬀerential scattering cross section or inscattering problems are considered only when modeling the

coeﬃcient) which describes the probability that response of the surface to active pulsed illumination

photons traveling in the I 0 direction are scattered by remote-sensing instruments (e.g., LiDAR).

in the dI about I direction. In conventional RT

theory, the host medium is assumed to be ‘‘rota-

tionally invariant’’ (i.e., the diﬀerential scattering

coeﬃcient depends only on the angle between I

3.2.1 RT modeling approach for

and I 0 ). With the latter position, and assuming that

glacier surfaces

the transport of photons is a function of only one

spatial variable (depth, ), it is customary to write Glacier surfaces and supraglacial lakes generally

the diﬀerential scattering as Ss ðI 0 ! IÞ ¼ exhibit a complex spatial arrangement of diﬀerent

Radiative transfer modeling of glacier surfaces 57

materials. Consequently, any RT model should be Figs. 3.1(C–J) show that more complex situa-

ﬂexible enough to permit the incorporation of tions, not well modeled as areal mixtures, are also

compositional and spatial structure scenarios that common on glaciers. Most glaciers possess broad

are typically found in such environments (e.g., a areas of impure ice stained by small amounts of

two-layer arrangement that includes an upper surﬁcial or intermixed rock grit. As detailed close-

layer of mixed snow and debris overlaying a up images show (Figs. 3.1(I, J); J being an extreme

bottom layer of pure bubbly ice). The natural color stretch of I), the rock grit is so ﬁne that it is

variability of surface composition and lake sus- optically thin and to some extent is intermixed with

pended debris, however, makes it extremely diﬃcult ice in the upper few millimeters; this slight debris-

to develop a comprehensive RT model that is sim- laden ice has a structure of massive, clean, coarse

ple (i.e., mathematically tractable), accurate, and crystalline ice overlain by a zone just a couple of

computationally inexpensive. Clearly, if a compre- millimeters thick where ice is eﬀectively intermixed

hensive description of the optical properties appear- with ﬁne silicate rock particles. We refer to a homo-

ing in the LBE is available, one may attempt to geneous or random intermixing of two (or more)

directly solve eq. (3.1). While this is in principle phases, with one phase having high photon trans-

possible, the dimensionality of the problem (three mittance relative to the other phase, like an intimate

positions and two angular variables) coupled with mixture. Thus, intimate mixtures permit photons to

the integro-diﬀerential nature of the LBE make interact with two or more materials of diﬀering

it virtually impossible to ﬁnd accurate and fast optical properties (e.g., ice with intermixed rock

solutions. Consequently, the RTE must be ﬂour). As we demonstrate in the simulation section,

simpliﬁed. such intimately mixed surfaces exhibit unique spec-

A closer look at the actual material and particle- tral properties and unique bidirectional reﬂectance

size arrangements typically found on glaciers characteristics diﬀerent from pure ice, pure rock, or

provides the insight that simpliﬁed geometries can areal mixtures of rock and ice.

support rigorous but simpliﬁed RTEs to describe The glacier surface also has centimeter-scale grit-

the BRDF and spectral albedo. A vertically layered free ‘‘windows’’ that expose the coarse crystalline

approach implies that radiant intensity depends ‘‘blue ice’’, and optically thick centimeter-size rock

only on one spatial (optical depth) and two angular particles. Photons are admitted through the grit-

variables. The layering assumption is justiﬁed by free windows into coarse-grained massive ice below

real case examples found in natural glacier environ- the gritty ice. The grittier areas admit and emit

ments. For example, Fig. 3.1 depicts monomineralic fewer photons per square millimeter, but they dom-

and monolithologic materials, intimate mixtures, inate the area fraction of this surface. Although

and areal mixtures of materials on the Root and Figs. 3.1(I, J) point out the real world complexity

Kennicott Glaciers in the Wrangell Mountains, of such surfaces from a radiation transfer perspec-

Alaska. Whether a patch of surface material is eﬀec- tive, we can approximate the geometry as a deep

tively monomineralic or monolithologic depends on layer of clean coarse crystalline ice overlain by a

the scale and the situation. To explain areal mix- thin layer of an intimate mixture of ice with ﬁne

tures, consider Figs. 3.1(A, B). At the ASTER pixel rock detritus. The more complex real world geom-

footprint scale (15 m/pixel for VNIR), the major etry can then be simulated by patches of intimately

glaciological features (especially medial moraines mixed dirty ice with patches of pure clean ice and

and intermoraine lanes of ice, snow, and ﬁrn) would patches of pure debris. Complex, realistic scenarios

be totally resolved and are each optically thick; can therefore be generated in a stepwise fashion.

these materials may be approximated as either pure The layering assumption reduces the dimension

rock debris or pure medium-grained ice (ﬁrn). A of the RTE yet allows meaningful modeling of a

MODIS pixel (250 m) would not resolve the indi- wide range of spatially complex material structures,

vidual medial moraines and ice patches; in this case, including multi-layers of intimate mixtures. In this

linear areal mixing models could adequately simu- framework, two major conﬁgurations for material

late reﬂectance. So long as photons do not penetrate arrangement are possible. In the ﬁrst conﬁguration,

through grains far enough to interact with diﬀerent intimate mixtures of ice and sediment can be mod-

types of minerals, the reﬂectance signature of eled as a homogeneous single layer (optically thick),

such patch-wise areal mixtures is simply the area- where the optical properties of the layer are derived

averaged reﬂectance spectra of the mineral compo- by a weighted average of the optical properties of

nents making up the surface. the pure components (see Section 3.3.4). In the sec-

58 Radiative transfer modeling in the cryosphere

Figure 3.1. (A–J) Examples of monomineralic and monolithologic materials, intimate mixtures, and areal mixtures

of materials on the Root and Kennicott Glaciers in the Wrangell Mountains, Alaska. On the right side of the ﬁgure are

illustrated a set of typical scenarios that can be modeled using multi-layer 1D, two-angle radiative transfer equations

(eq. 3.3). The geometrical conﬁgurations include single-layer and multi-layer arrangements of mixtures of ice and

rock debris. Figure can also be viewed as Online Supplement 3.1.

3.2.2 Radiative transfer equation in

an idealized multi-layer structure. Each layer is

layered mixtures of snow, ice, and

modeled as homogeneous, with a deﬁned optical

debris

thickness, and its composition may include either

a pure material or an intimate mixture of diﬀerent The major assumption that reduces the problem

elements (ice, snow, debris). In addition, RT models dimension is to set the medium to be inﬁnite in

should be able to describe scenarios where, in a the horizontal direction so that photon transport

single-layer conﬁguration, the surface exhibits within the medium is one dimensional (the depth

patches of homogeneous material. Within the limits variable). If a single-layer conﬁguration is consid-

of its spatial resolution, any remote-sensing instru- ered, a further simpliﬁcation is obtained by working

ment measures the spectrally average electromag- with a spatially homogeneous medium. Vertical

netic radiation reﬂected by the area corresponding heterogeneity can be described by assuming a

to one pixel. Assuming an independent pixel multi-layer conﬁguration where the medium is sub-

approximation (IPA), RT models can be devised divided in many layers, each having diﬀerent optical

to compute the ﬂux intensity of heterogeneous properties. Under these conditions, the LBE can be

patched areas by calculating the average ﬂux inten- simpliﬁed. The spectral radiant intensity for a ver-

sity of homogeneous subpixel components weighted tically heterogeneous medium is governed by the

with their area coverage. following 1D, two-angle RTE (Chandrasekhar

Radiative transfer modeling of glacier surfaces 59

1960, Siewert 1978, 2000): radiation ﬁeld (second term at the RHS). Eq. (3.5)

@ ensures that the continuity of radiant intensity at

I ð; ; ’Þ þ I ð; ; ’Þ the interface between layers is respected. Eq. (3.6)

@

Z Z imposes a non-reentrant boundary condition at the

! ðÞ 2 0 1 bottom layer. Typically, the bottom layer is

¼ d’ d 0 p ð; cos YÞI ð; 0 ; ’ 0 Þ

4 0 1 assumed to be optically thick (i.e., semi-inﬁnite).

ð3:2Þ

where, for a given wavelength ,R I ð; ; ’Þ is the 3.2.3 Radiative transfer equation in

spectral radiant intensity, ¼ x0 tot dx 0 is the glacier lake waters

optical thickness (varying in the range 2 ½0; D),

RT modeling for glacier-related surface water can

2 ½1; 1 is the cosine of the polar angle (meas-

be based on using a plane-parallel approximation,

ured from the positive -axis), ’ 2 ½0; 2 is the

where the water column is assumed to be layered,

azimuth angle, ! ðÞ ¼ sca ð; Þ=abs ð; Þ is the

and surface irradiance is assumed to be uniform

spatially dependent single-scattering albedo,

over the surface. Because of small horizontal varia-

deﬁned as the ratio between scattering coeﬃcient

tion in water optical properties, the RT problem

sca ð; Þ and total interaction (extinction) coeﬃ-

can be treated spatially using the depth variable.

cient (tot ð; Þ ¼ sca ð; Þ þ abs ð; Þ (i.e., sum

Using notation that is customary in the ocean optics

of absorption and scattering coeﬃcient), and

community, radiance is governed by the following

p ð; cos YÞ is the spatially dependent scattering

integro-diﬀerential equation:

phase function.

In the case of a multi-layer approximation, the @

Lðz; ; ’; Þ þ cðz; ÞLðz; ; ’; Þ

medium is subdivided into N layers each having @z

diﬀerent optical properties. For each layer, the Z 2 Z 1

0

single-scattering albedo and the scattering phase ¼ bðz; Þ d’ d 0 ðz; 0 ! ; ’ 0 ! ’; Þ

0 1

function are deﬁned either for a single material or

for a mixture, respectively as ! s , s ¼ 1; . . . ; N and Lðz; 0 ; ’ 0 ; Þ þ Sðz; Þ; ð3:7Þ

p s ðcos YÞ, s ¼ 1; . . . ; N. For each of the N layers, where z is downward distance from the lake surface,

we write the following equation (s ¼ 1; . . . ; N): is the cosine of the polar angle, and ’ is the

@ ðsÞ ðsÞ azimuth angle in the horizontal plane. The sum of

I ð; ; ’Þ þ I ð; ; ’Þ the scattering and absorption coeﬃcient is called

@

ðsÞ Z 2 Z 2 the beam attenuation (extinction) coeﬃcient

!

¼ d’ 0 ðsÞ

d 0 p ðcos YÞI s ð; 0 ; ’ 0 Þ cðz; Þ ¼ aðz; Þ þ bðz; Þ, whereas ðz; 0 ! ;

4 0 0 ’ 0 ! ’; Þ is the scattering phase function. Proper-

ð3:3Þ ties aðz; Þ, bðz; Þ, and cðz; Þ are commonly

known as inherent optical properties (IOPs). IOPs

The RTE must be equipped with boundary con-

are critical parameters that describe the bulk optical

ditions describing radiant intensity at the top and

behavior of lake water and are of general interest in

bottom layers. Moreover, the continuity of radiance

inverse remote sensing. Sðz; Þ is a source function

between layers must be enforced. For s ¼ 1 (top

that accounts for the Raman scattering phenom-

boundary condition):

enon. Such a term complicates the nature of the

ð1Þ equation, and ﬁnding accurate numerical solutions

I ð0; ; ’Þ ¼ S0 ð 0 Þð’ ’0 Þ þ f ð; ’Þ ð3:4Þ

becomes more challenging. This is due to the fact

At the interface between slabs: that in such cases the problem cannot be solved

9

ðsÞ ðs1Þ ‘‘one wavelength at a time’’ as in the conventional

I ð ðsÞ ; ; ’Þ ¼ I ð ðsÞ ; ; ’Þ =

ð3:5Þ case (see Section 3.2.2). The latter implies that in eq.

ð ðsþ1Þ ; ; ’Þ ;

ðsÞ ðsþ1Þ

I ð ðsþ1Þ ; ; ’Þ ¼ I (3.7), the wavelength variable is coupled with both

spatial and angular variables. Nevertheless, a sim-

For s ¼ N (bottom-boundary condition): pliﬁed version of eq. (3.7) which does not depend on

ðNÞ Sðz; Þ may be suﬃcient to describe photons’

I ð0; ; ’Þ ¼ 0 ð3:6Þ

behavior because bioluminescence sources are very

where 2 ½0; 1. Eq. (3.4) represents the incident small during the daytime, and both ﬂuorescence

directional ﬁeld (ﬁrst term on the RHS) and diﬀuse and Raman scattering become negligible.

60 Radiative transfer modeling in the cryosphere

either homogenous (well mixed) or vertically representing the projection of p ðcos YÞ on

stratiﬁed which, as in the case for glacier surfaces, Legendre polynomials. Generally, snow, ice, soil,

enables the use of multi-layer conﬁguration models. and water exhibit a strongly forward-peaked scatter-

Eq. (3.7) is also equipped with boundary conditions ing function (i.e., relatively large single particles tend

that are similar to the one described in the previous to scatter radiation primarily in the forward direc-

section. The top layer is illuminated by an incident tion). The latter implies that a large number of

and diﬀuse source (see eq. 3.4). If lake depth is coeﬃcients (of the order of thousands) are required

large, the medium is optically thick and non- to accurately characterize the single-particle phase

reentrant conditions at the bottom layer (eq. 3.6) function. The asymmetry parameter g, which is

are appropriate. If the lake is shallow, reﬂective deﬁned as the cosine of the average of p ðcos YÞ

boundary conditions, which depend on lake bottom (also as the degree of forward scattering of the

composition, shall be imposed at the bottom layer, medium), may be conveniently employed to reduce

although we do not provide simulations of such the number of parameters required to describe the

instances. optical properties of a single particle. The popular

Heyney–Greenstein model is therefore widely used

to approximate the phase function for the particles

of interest:

pðcos YÞ ¼ ; g 2 ½1; 1

ICE, DEBRIS, MIXTURES, AND ð1 2g cos Y þ g 2 Þ 3=2

GLACIER LAKE WATER ð3:8Þ

The RTE can be solved as a function of surface/ The scattering phase function can be expanded in

water properties (e.g., mineralogical composition, Legendre polynomials Pl ðcos YÞ with coeﬃcients

grain size distribution) and solar/sensor geometry. that are directly related to the asymmetry parameter

The RTE describes the multiple scattering of in the following manner:

photons through the host medium and critically

depends on single-particle optical behavior. From X

L

l¼1

behavior is regulated by the ability of the host

medium to absorb and scatter light in any direction. l ¼ ð2j þ 1Þg l ð3:10Þ

Indeed, a single particle is characterized by absorp-

tion and scattering eﬃciencies that are related to Therefore, single-particle optical properties can be,

the probability that a photon will be scattered or at minimum, characterized by knowledge of single-

absorbed by a single particle of deﬁned shape and scattering albedo and asymmetry parameter. Alter-

size. Scattering and absorption processes are natively, a number of scattering coeﬃcients are

accounted for via two optical property parameters: required to describe the particle phase function.

(1) single-scattering albedo, which represents the Such parameters depend on the size of the particle,

probability of a single photon to be scattered in wavelength, index of refraction, and the shape of

any direction; and (2) the scattering phase function the particle. The most common approach to deter-

p ðcos YÞ (or ðz; 0 ! ; ’ 0 ! ’; Þ for glacier mine optical properties is to assume that the particle

lake water), with Y being the angle between the is a perfect sphere. In this case, optical properties

incident and scattering direction. The phase func- can be computed in closed form by directly solving

tion speciﬁcally describes the probability that a Maxwell equations. Mie theory (Wiscombe 1980)

photon coming from a direction I 0 ¼ ð 0 ; ’ 0 Þ is has been widely used to model the optical properties

scattered by a particle in direction I ¼ ð; ’Þ. Par- of snow, ice, and soil. More involved approaches,

ticulates that typically comprise surfaces in glacier such as the T-matrix method (Watermann 1971,

environments are rotationally invariant (i.e., the Mackowski and Mishchenko 1996) and the ray-

probability of scattering depends only on the rela- tracing method (Bohren and Barkstrom 1974,

tive angle between incident and scattered radiation). Macke et al. 1996), have been developed to account

While single-scattering albedo is a scalar parameter for arbitrary and irregular shapes. Such methods,

ranging between 0 and 1, the phase function is however, tend to be computationally expensive.

Optical properties of snow, ice, debris, mixtures, and glacier lake 61

3.3.1 Snow

From the radiative transfer perspective, snow can

be viewed as a collection of ice particles immersed in

air. A single particle of ice has variable shape and

size and an exact description of single-scattering

albedo and phase function involves using methods

of geometric optics. Yang and Liou (1998) applied

Monte Carlo–driven ray-tracing algorithms to com-

pute the optical properties of ice crystals for a sub-

stantial variety of shapes including plates, hollow

columns, bullet rosettes, and ice aggregates.

Whereas a database of properties has been gener-

ated, accurate description of the phase function for

such complex shapes implies that one needs RT

code capable of handling thousands of phase func-

tion coeﬃcients to compute the radiative regime in

media with irregular particles, which results in

impractical computationally expensive calculations.

A more popular approach employed to describe

snow particle optical properties makes extensive

use of Mie-based code. Founded on Mie theory

(Wiscombe 1980, 1996), such code can eﬀectively

compute eﬃciencies, single-scattering albedo, and

asymmetry parameters as a function of grain size.

However, calculations based on Mie theory may be Figure 3.2. Spectral behavior of the real part (A) and

severely limited by the fact that the theory works imaginary part (B) of the complex index of refraction for

rigorously only if the particles are assumed to be pure ice. Figure can also be viewed as Online Supple-

perfect spheres. Whereas single snow particles are ment 3.2.

not spheres, an ensemble of snow particles is pos-

tulated to behave as ‘‘optically equivalent spheres’’

increases with wavelength). Wiscombe and Warren

(i.e., a collection of snow grains having the same

(1980) studied the behavior of pure ice single-

volume/surface ratio; Dozier et al. 1987). Mugnai

particle optical parameters using Mie theory and

and Wiscombe (1980) demonstrated that a collec-

showed that the extinction coeﬃcient and asym-

tion of nonoriented spheroids have the same scat-

metry parameter are relatively insensitive to wave-

tering behavior as an ensemble of spherical particles

length (typical value for g ranges between 0.88 and

of equivalent size. Mie-based code requires knowl-

1), and that ! (or the co-albedo 1 ! ) is mainly

edge of the complex index of refraction n ¼ nr þ ni .

responsible for the spectral variation of snow

Generally, the real part is interpreted as phase

albedo. Generally, ! is very close to 1 in the optical

velocity and the imaginary part describes absorp-

region (highly scattering snow medium across the

tion loss for an electromagnetic wave moving

visible) and decreases monotonically reaching a

through the particle. For the case of ice, the

minimum value of 0.5 in the NIR. Increasing grain

imaginary part is linked to volume absorption of

size is shown to decrease ! . Generally, values of 50

ice (Wiscombe and Warren 1980). Fig. 3.2 shows

mm are assumed for fresh snow, whereas 1 mm is

both real and imaginary parts of the index of refrac-

assumed for grain clusters or wet snow. Water in

tion for pure ice (Wiscombe 1980, Warren and

the snowpack is not usually modeled, as the index

Brandt 2008). Importantly, the magnitude of the

of refraction of water is very close to that of ice.

imaginary part varies across the visible and the

near-infrared (NIR) by many orders of magnitude

implying that: (1) ice is transparent in the visible

3.3.2 Glacier ice

region (small imaginary index of refraction); and

(2) ice is moderately absorptive in the NIR Whereas snow and ice are the major material com-

(imaginary index of refraction is larger and ponents, the physical state and the optical proper-

62 Radiative transfer modeling in the cryosphere

ties of various glacier surface characteristics under plied by the volume fraction of ice in the sample.

investigation vary dramatically. Snowfall is trans- Once the scattering and absorption coeﬃcients are

formed to ice through a variety of mechanisms available, both the extinction coeﬃcient and single-

including: (1) mechanical settling; (2) sintering; scattering albedo can be computed to complete the

(3) refreezing of meltwater; and (4) refreezing of optical characterization of the volumetric scattering

sublimating ice. The grain size of surface ice varies of clean ice.

widely. In the accumulation zone, ﬁne snow may Microtopography is important on some glacier

dominate. In the ﬁrn zone (annealed snow), grain surfaces and can introduce complex scattering

size may eﬀectively be in the range of several milli- and microshadowing eﬀects. We do not address this

meters. In the ablation zone, bubbly ice may have important topic in this chapter.

an eﬀective grain size of a few millimeters, but

dense, well-crystallized ice may have grain sizes of

3.3.3 Rock debris

1–10 cm. In some cases, glaciers may be eﬀectively

layered in the optical zone, with a dusting of snow Debris-covered glaciers include varying amounts,

or bubbly ice overlying denser, coarser ice. Multiple grain sizes, and spatial arrangements of rock debris.

scattering of such complex structures requires Moraines may consist mainly of boulders and cover

proper modeling of the properties of single com- the ice completely. Debris patches may be scattered

ponents which are usually mixed with other com- amongst clean ice exposures. Fine rock ﬂour may be

ponents (snow, bubbles, rock debris, and soot, see intimately mixed with ice. The optical characteriza-

Section 3.3.4) and possibly arranged in multi-layer tion of single-particle absorption and scattering for

conﬁgurations. However, glacier clean ice may be soil/sediment is, however, very diﬃcult. Generally,

modeled as a collection of bubbles trapped within a soil particle distributions can vary in size, shape,

matrix of transparent ice. and mineralogy. Whereas Mie theory has been

The ﬁrn, which is snow material after the trans- fairly successful in describing the optical properties

formation process has begun, is initially porous and of snow and ice, it has not been able to accurately

contains interconnected air channels. As the density reproduce the optical properties of soil particles.

increases above 880 kg/m 3 , the channels close oﬀ Indeed most materials found on Earth and planet-

resulting in a mixture of ice and bubbles trapped ary surfaces exhibit a nonuniform structure and

within the glacier body. Mullen and Warren (1988) composition.

provided a framework for modeling the volumetric Two decades ago, Hapke (1993) presented a gen-

scattering of such bubbly ice. Indeed, in a pure ice eralized model for the scattering eﬃciency of large

sample containing only air bubbles, the physics of irregular particles. The model is based on an exten-

interaction between the photons and the host med- sion/generalization of the equivalent slab model for

ium is such that absorption occurs in the ice matrix irregular particles. The model is approximate but

and scattering occurs at ice bubble boundaries. can be used to compute scattering eﬃciency in

Thus, the absorption process is generally separated closed analytical form and has been mostly

from the scattering process. Scattering is dominated employed in the planetary science community

by the size and distribution of the air bubbles within (e.g., Warell et al. 2009). More recently, T-matrix

the ice. If bubbles are assumed to be spheres, Mie code has been made available to describe the optical

theory can be employed to compute the scattering properties of particles that are large and irregular.

eﬃciency (and subsequently the scattering coeﬃ- Based on the linearity of Maxwell’s equations

cient) as well as the asymmetry parameter as a (Watermann 1971), the method has some computa-

function of bubble size. In this case, the Mie-based tional advantage where the particle under consid-

calculation follows the same process as in the case eration is axial symmetric, because the matrix is

of snow, but with the imaginary part of the complex easily subdivided into independent matrices, yield-

of refraction set to zero (n ¼ nr ). Marston et al. ing more eﬃcient and faster calculations. T-matrix

(1982) found good agreement with the scattering methods are also available to compute the optical

of a single air bubble in water, which has an index properties of particle clusters with deﬁned

of refraction similar to ice. Conversely, absorption orientation (Mackowski and Mishchenko 1996).

is assumed to be exclusively a function of the Generally, such algorithms are computationally

amount of ice per unit volume. For example, expensive, and recently some of the available code

Bohren (1983) assumed that the absorption coeﬃ- has been redesigned to run on parallel clusters of

cient of an air–ice mixture is that of pure ice multi- machines (Mackowski and Mishchenko 2011).

Optical properties of snow, ice, debris, mixtures, and glacier lake 63

other pastels, to brilliant green, cobalt blue, and

The optical properties of single particles can be

gray. The colors of optically deep lakes pertain

employed to determine the optical behavior of

mainly to their suspended sediment loads, especially

multicomponent mixtures. Computing single-

clastic sediment in glacial lakes and substrate eﬀects

scattering albedo and the asymmetry parameter

for optically shallow lakes.

for a mixture is fairly straightforward. Let us

Suspended clastics in glacier meltwater have two

consider the case of two pure components each

major components: (1) rock ﬂour—mainly clay to

characterized by spherical particles of radius r1

ﬁne silt size—produced by glacier grinding at the

and r2 and with scattering coeﬃcient sca;1ð2Þ ¼

bed; (2) silt and sand introduced by nonglacial

n1ð2Þ r 21ð2Þ Qsca;1ð2Þ and total interaction (extinction)

streams and incorporated into glacier waters from

coeﬃcient tot;1ð2Þ ¼ n1ð2Þ r 21ð2Þ Qtot;1ð2Þ where

mass-wasting deposits or other sources that have

Qsca;12 and Qtot;12 are the scattering and extinc-

not been pulverized at the glacier bed. These com-

tion eﬃciencies for type 1(2) particles, and n1ð2Þ is

ponents are usually distinct in their grain-rounding,

the number of particles per unit volume of type 1(2)

faceting, and particle size–frequency distributions.

particles. The combined single-scattering albedo of

In heavily glacierized basins (where glacial sediment

a mixture of two types of particles can be deter-

input is much greater than nonglacial input) in

mined as follows:

nonpolar climates (where glaciers have thawed

sca;1 þ sca;2 n1 r 21 Qsca;1 þ n2 r 22 Qsca;2 beds), glacier rock ﬂour overwhelmingly dominates

!mix ¼ ¼ most lakes. Glacial grinding produces extremely

tot;1 þ tot;2 n1 r 21 Qtot;1 þ n2 r 22 Qtot;2

ﬁne particles due to rock being forced to slide over

ð3:11Þ other rocks, whereas in ordinary streams, particles

If particles are not spherical, r 2 shall be replaced are generated as chips that are shed from larger

by relative particle cross-sectional area. If particle clasts during water-driven impacts. The energy

size is modeled as a size distribution, then comput- and momentum relations are such that particles a

ing an integral with the weighted size distribution few microns in radius become ineﬀective abrading

is required. Similarly, combined phase function agents in normal streams. Hence, glacial rock ﬂour

moments are computed by averaging the moment includes particles sizes from hundreds of microns to

of each component and weighting it by its scattering a tenth of a micron or smaller, whereas non-glacial

coeﬃcient. For example, the asymmetry parameter streams normally carry suspended load particle

of a two-component mixture is computed as fol- sizes from a few hundred microns down to a few

lows: microns. Although particle sizes on the scale of light

wavelengths can total up to a small fraction of the

g1 sca;1 þ g2 sca;2

gmix ¼ total mass of suspended load, those size ranges can

sca;1 þ sca;2 dominate scattering due to the large speciﬁc surface

g1 n1 r 21 Qsca;1 þ g2 n2 r 22 Qsca;2 area of those ﬁne grains. Such particle sizes can

¼ ð3:12Þ be virtually absent from nonglacial waters, thus

n1 r 21 Qsca;1 þ n2 r 22 Qsca;2

accounting for some of the diﬀerence between the

colors of typical nonglacial lakes versus glacial

lakes.

3.3.5 Glacier lake water

From the optical perspective, turbid nonglacial

Glacier water includes lakes, streams, and small lake waters, which are generally classiﬁed as ‘‘Case

puddles and rivulets. In this section we will not 2’’ waters (Mobley 1994), can be diﬃcult to

consider thin ﬁlms (such as wetted rocks and characterize because they often consist of water

water-saturated snow) or optically thin ponds plus dissolved organic and inorganic matter. Most

where substrate eﬀects are important. The optical glacial lakes and streams have negligible organic

properties of optically thick glacier water are components, but some isolated ponds can develop

described by explicitly characterizing the absorp- a biota and suspended and dissolved organic mat-

tion, scattering, and total beam attenuation coeﬃ- ter. These lakes are strongly inﬂuenced by colored

cients as a function of the various components dissolved organic matter (CDOM also known as

present in the water body. Optical properties are Gelbstoﬀ, yellow substance, or gilvin), detritus,

responsible for the large variation in the supra- mineral particles, bubbles, and other substances

glacial lake colors that can be observed in alpine including phytoplankton. Such particles are not

64 Radiative transfer modeling in the cryosphere

power of 0.6. Suspended particle optical properties

in glacier lakes are not well known and require in

situ measurement. Suspended sediments tend to be

mostly scatterers although iron-rich sediments may

exhibit strong absorption features. Heege (2000)

measured the optical behavior of suspended par-

ticles in Lake Constance and found that the par-

ticles had no inﬂuence on the overall absorption

coeﬃcient (aX ðÞ ¼ 0) whereas they heavily inﬂu-

enced the scattering properties of the lake waters. It

was found that the backscattering coeﬃcient was

independent of wavelength and proportional to

the particle concentration.

Scattering in glacier and oceanic environments is

Figure 3.3. Spectral behavior of absorption and scat- strongly forward peaked with peak ratio between

tering coeﬃcients for pure water. Figure can also be forward and backward single-scattering ratios of

viewed as Online Supplement 3.3. the order of 10 5 . Various models are available to

describe such a type of scattering behavior although

two types of phase functions are generally used for

water including the Petzold phase function (Petzold

very well characterized in terms of type and loca-

1972) and the Fournier–Fourand model (Fournier

tion, and they do not covary with phytoplankton

and Fourand 1994). Mobley et al. (2002) examined

concentration as in Case 1 waters. Generally, the

the eﬀect of various phase functions on the com-

optical properties of such waters are assumed to be

puted radiance and concluded that: (1) knowledge

additive, where the absorption and scattering coeﬃ-

of the appropriate phase function is as important

cient can be written as a sum of the models

as knowledge of the absorption and scattering

employed for absorption and scattering of the indi-

coeﬃcient; and (2) accurate knowledge of the shape

vidual components:

of the phase function is not required as long as

the backscattering fraction is correct. It was also

aðÞ ¼ aW ðÞ þ aP ðÞ þ aX ðÞ þ aY ðÞ ð3:13Þ

shown that the Fournier–Fourand model works

bðÞ ¼ bW ðÞ þ bP ðÞ þ bX ðÞ þ bY ðÞ ð3:14Þ very well.

bX ðÞ; bY ðÞ) are the absorption (scattering) coeﬃ-

cients for pure water, phytoplankton, mineral par-

ticles/detritus, and CDOM, respectively. Models 3.4 NUMERICAL SOLUTION OF

and/or experimental data for individual compo- THE RTE

nents are more or less available. For pure water,

scattering and absorption coeﬃcients have been Computing the radiative regime within glaciers, as

measured. Fig. 3.3 shows the wavelength-dependent well as the amount of radiation reﬂected by glacier

scattering and absorption coeﬃcient of pure water surfaces and/or glacier lakes, requires solving the

as measured by Pope and Fry (1997). Optical RTEs formally presented in the previous sections.

models for phytoplankton and CDOM are avail- Due to its mathematical complexity, an analytical

able from the literature (Prieur and Sathyendranath description of the light ﬁeld is virtually impossible.

1981). Generally, CDOM absorption is assumed to Over the past few years, many approximate meth-

decay exponentially with wavelength, whereas scat- ods have been developed to provide analytical

tering due to dissolved microscopic pigments is expressions for the multiple scattering of photons

assumed to be negligible. Phytoplankton absorp- in snow, ice, and soil. One of the most popular

tion is a complex function of its concentration analytical methods is based on approximating the

and wavelength, and requires two empirical wave- radiance as one upwelling and one downwelling

length-dependent functions. Phytoplankton scatter- stream of photons as they are constrained to move

ing is proportional to the inverse of the wavelength only in two directions (two-stream approximation).

Numerical solution of the RTE 65

Such an assumption allows the determination of have unknown radiant intensities along discrete

analytical formulas that quickly compute upwelling directions. The set of equations are solved by:

and downwelling diﬀuse ﬁelds (see Wiscombe and (1) numerically solving the resulting eigenvalue

Warren 1980 for an example of a two-stream calcu- problem to compute the homogeneous solution;

lation applied to the problem of determining snow and (2) use of a modiﬁed Green’s function formula-

albedo). In an attempt to provide a quantitative tion to compute the particular solution of the set of

tool for the analysis and interpretation of the light diﬀerential equations arising from angular dis-

reﬂected by planetary surfaces, Hapke (1981) deter- cretization. More recently, the method has been

mined an analytical expression for the reﬂectance extended to include multiple layers of optical prop-

factor of an optically thick surface. He decomposed erties with special routines that give the method the

the radiative ﬁeld into two major components con- ability to quickly and eﬃciently handle thousands

sisting of a scattered component and a multiple- of layers (Picca et al. 2007, 2008a, Picca 2009, Pre-

scattered component. An approximate solution viti 2010, Previti et al. 2011). The principles behind

was obtained by: (1) determining an exact expres- the ADO have been implemented in a novel RT

sion for the ﬁrst scattered component; and (2) deter- code called Multi-layer Analytical Discrete Ordi-

mining an approximate analytical expression for nates Code (MADOC, Furfaro et al. 2014). Devel-

the multiple-scattered component, assuming that oped in a MATLAB environment, MADOC will be

the host medium is isotropic from the second col- soon made available to the larger scientiﬁc com-

lision on. munity. Importantly, MADOC was used to provide

Whereas approximate methods provide the the simulation examples in the next section. Dis-

analyst with analytical expressions that are easy crete ordinate methods have also been used to gen-

to implement, they do not provide accurate solu- erate code capable of computing matter/energy

tions of the RTE. Indeed, accurate solutions can be interactions in water. Indeed, the Coupled Ocean

found only by solving the RTE numerically. Over Atmosphere Radiative Transfer code (COART; Jin

the past two decades, the widespread availability of et al. 2006) extended the DISORT numerical plat-

high-speed digital computers permitted researchers form to handle the change in photon direction

to develop and test more eﬃcient and faster algo- between the water and atmosphere interface due

rithms to compute radiance and the reﬂectance fac- to diﬀerences in the index of refraction.

tor. All the available numerical algorithms have In principle, both angular and spatial variables

been based on some form of discretization of the can be discretized to transform the RTE into a set

spatial and angular variable, thus resulting in RT of diﬀerential equations that can be implemented

software that can be used to simulate the light using a digital computer. The most elementary

reﬂected by various surfaces. approach to what is called ‘‘vanilla discretization’’

One of the most eﬃcient ways to solve the RTE is is the SN1 method (Lewis and Miller 1984). One

to discretize the angular variable in a set of ﬁnite major drawback of the method is that accurate

directions, and then solve the resulting diﬀerential solutions can only be obtained if the discretization

equations. Cast as an eigenvalue problem, the set of mesh is suﬃciently ﬁne. For optically thick media

equations can be solved using conventional numer- and settings with forward-peaked phase functions,

ical methods (e.g., relaxation method) to ﬁnd an the method becomes computationally expensive.

analytical expression for radiance along ﬁxed direc- More recently, it has been shown that accurate

tions. The DISORT code (Stamnes et al. 1988) is solutions of the RT equation can be obtained by

the most popular and is based on discretizing the solving a sequence of RT problems using SN from

angular variable. It has been widely used by the coarser to ﬁner grids and coupled with acceleration

community to compute the reﬂectance factor and techniques to ﬁnd the mesh-independent limit

spectral albedo of snow as a function of grain size (Ganapol and Furfaro 2008).

(e.g., Aoki et al. 2000, Painter et al. 2003). Two other alternative methods are suitable for

Recently, Siewert (2000) proposed a new formu- RT calculations involving particulate media. The

lation of the discrete ordinate approach for a single ‘‘adding–doubling method’’ (Hansen and Travis

layer with speciﬁed optical properties and thickness. 1974) is based on the idea that the medium is sliced

The method, called the analytical discrete ordinates in thin layers with light entering the top layer. The

method (ADO), is a novel semi-analytic approach angular reﬂectance (and transmittance) of the com-

in which the angular variable is discretized to deter-

1

mine a set of ordinary diﬀerential equations that SN is the codeword for discrete ordinates method.

66 Radiative transfer modeling in the cryosphere

Figure 3.4. RT-based model of spectral albedo for a layer of optically thick pure snow as a function of wavelength

(0.4–2.5 7m) and grain size (50, 200, and 1,000 7m). The solar zenith angle is 30 . Compare with Figure 2.8 (Bishop

et al.’s chapter). Figure can also be viewed as Online Supplement 3.4.

bined layers is obtained by superposing the reﬂec- 3.5 GLACIER RADIATIVE TRANSFER

tance and transmittance of the individual layers. SIMULATION EXAMPLES

The adding–doubling model has been implemented

by de Hann et al. (1987). Another eﬃcient RT Proper modeling of the BRF and spectral albedo

model devised to compute the bidirectional reﬂec- based upon surface properties requires solving the

tance factor of an optically thick surface of parti- RTE as presented in eqs. (3.3) and (3.7). Here, we

culate media (including snow, ice, debris, and recall their deﬁnitions (see Chapter 2 of this book

mixtures) was implemented by Mishchenko et al. by Bishop et al.). The bidirectional reﬂectance fac-

(1999). The method is based on iteratively solving tor (BRF) represents the ratio between the radiance

a nonlinear integral equation (an Ambartsumian emitted in any particular direction by the surface,

equation) derived from photon conservation. The and the radiance that would be reﬂected into the

method is eﬃcient because it does not need to solve same direction given an ideal Lambertian surface,

for light inside the medium and may be ideal for illuminated by the same incident geometry. Con-

modeling reﬂected radiance. versely, the spectral albedo of a surface is a dimen-

Finally, the light ﬁeld in water can be computed sionless ratio of the radiant energy scattered away

using a commercially available program called from the surface to that received by the surface at a

HYDROLIGHT (Mobley 1994). Written in For- speciﬁed wavelength. In this section, a set of numer-

tran, the code uses the invariant-embedding ical examples that show how RT theory can be

approach to solve eq. (3.7) for each of the azimuthal employed to model BRF and spectral albedo for

components. It has an extensive library of optical a variety of conﬁgurations typically found in alpine

properties, and may be purchased for a fee. glaciers and glacier lakes are presented. The

Glacier radiative transfer simulation examples 67

Figure 3.5. RT-based model of spectral albedo for a layer of optically thick pure snow as a function of wavelength

and solar zenith angle. The particle grain size is ﬁxed and assumed to be 50 7m. Figure can also be viewed as Online

Supplement 3.5.

MADOC platform (Previti 2010, Previti et al. 2011, photons have higher chances to be scattered at

Furfaro et al. 2014) has been employed in all simu- the boundary between ﬁne snow grains and air.

lations involving glacier surfaces. Conversely, para- Incrementally larger grain size has the eﬀect of

meterization of HYDROLIGHT, as presented by increasing the mean free path, giving photons a

Albert and Mobley (2003), has been employed to higher chance to travel through the ice, and a

model reﬂectance factors for glacier lake scenarios. smaller chance to be scattered and exit the snow-

In the ﬁrst set of simulations, RT theory has been pack. Whereas larger snow particles are both more

employed to model the spectral albedo of a layer of absorptive and more forward scattering, it can be

optically thick pure snow as a function of wave- shown that the decrease in albedo is mainly due to

length (0.4–2.5 mm) and grain size (Fig. 3.4). The the fall of ! in the NIR regime, where the asym-

solar zenith angle was set at 30 . The single-particle metry parameter increases only slightly (Wiscombe

optical properties of single-scattering albedo and and Warren 1980). Importantly, in the visible

asymmetry parameter, were computed using the region of the spectrum, snow particles are highly

MATLAB-based Mie code provided by Matzler scattering (! very close to one), which explains

(2004). The ice complex index of refraction was why snow has generally such a high albedo, inde-

used as input and grain sizes of 50 mm (fresh ﬁne pendent of grain size.

snow), 200 mm (fresh coarse snow) and 1 mm In the second set of simulations, a RT model was

(annealed snow; i.e., ﬁrn) were considered. employed to compute the spectral albedo of a layer

As shown in Fig. 3.4, albedo is very sensitive to of optically thick pure snow as a function of wave-

grain size and decreases as the radius of the snow length (0.4–2.5 mm) and solar zenith angle (Fig. 3.5).

particle increases. From the physical point view, Grain size was ﬁxed and assumed to be 50 mm. Mie

68 Radiative transfer modeling in the cryosphere

Figure 3.6. RT-based model of spectral albedo for a layer of an optically thick mixture of pure snow and carbon

soot as a function of wavelength and snow grain size (50, 200, and 1,000 7m). Soot particle concentration is

assumed to be 3 ppmw. The optical properties of the two constituents have been independently computed using

Mie theory. Figure can also be viewed as Online Supplement 3.6.

theory is used to compute single-particle optical radius equal to 0.1 mm and particle density equiva-

properties. As expected, the angle of incidence of lent to 0.3 ppmw (parts per million weight). The

the incoming radiation illuminating the snowpack soot complex index of refraction is assumed to be

has a large eﬀect on albedo. As shown in Fig. 3.5, constant across the spectral range of interest and

albedo increases with increasing solar zenith angle. equal to 1:95 þ 0:79i. Fig. 3.6 shows the resulting

Wiscombe and Warren (1980) explained this phe- spectral albedo as a function of wavelength along

nomenon by postulating that, because of the high with the radius of the snow particles. Simulations

inclination with respect to the zenith, photons show that a small amount of carbon soot is suﬃ-

entering the medium travel close to the upper sur- cient to lower albedo in the visible region of the

face of the snowpack and therefore scattering spectrum where ice has the lowest absorption

events give light particles a higher probability of (highly scattering media with single-scattering

exiting the snowpack surface. albedo very close to one). As expected, albedo

In the third set of simulations, a RT model was reduction is more marked for larger snow particles.

employed to compute the spectral albedo of a layer Relatively high scattering between 0.4 mm and 0.7

of an optically thick mixture of pure snow and mm increases the probability that photons are more

carbon soot as a function of grain size (50, 200, likely to experience multiple scattering, therefore

and 1,000 mm; see Fig. 3.6). The optical properties increasing the probability of encountering a carbon

of the two constituents have been independently particle and being absorbed. As discussed above,

computed using Mie theory. The optical properties increasing snow particle grain size increases average

of carbon soot were computed (assuming the soot free mean path, further increasing the probability of

particles are modeled as spheres) by setting the soot encountering a carbon particle and being absorbed.

Glacier radiative transfer simulation examples 69

Table 3.1. Input optical parameters employed for become more spatially homogeneous. The forward-

MADOC BRF simulations of intimate and areal scattering component also decreases in extent and

mixtures of ice and soil. magnitude, while the backscatter component

Parameters Ice Soil decreases in extent, and exhibits an increase in mag-

nitude associated with increasing debris.

Wavelength (mm) 0.63 0.63 In the ﬁfth set of simulations, the reﬂectance

patterns of typical glacier lake water were computed

Particle diameter (mm) 30 10 as a function of particle and phytoplankton con-

Variance 0.2 0.1 centration, wind speed, and sensor geometry. Fig.

3.8 depicts spectral curves from 390 to 710 nm.

Distribution Log Modiﬁed Simulations were implemented using the analytical

normal gamma ﬁt of HYDROLIGHT for Case 2 (turbid) waters

(Albert and Mobley 2003). Clearly, increasing

Index of refraction (real) 1.31 1.55

the suspended matter content tends to decrease

Index of refraction (imag) 0 0.001 reﬂectance variability (ﬂatten spectral curves) and

increase the magnitude of reﬂectance from the lake

Max radius 35 N/A

mixture mixture

carbon particles on albedo is limited, as its reduc-

tion is dominated by the stronger absorption of ice.

This simulation shows that carbon soot and gener-

ally other impurities (e.g., dust; Wiscombe and

Warren 1980) may have a large impact on the over-

all energy budget of glaciers.

The fourth set of simulations shows an example

of a BRF for an optically thick mixture of soil and

ice as a function of the percentage volume of the

two pure components. The mixture BRF was com-

puted at a speciﬁed wavelength in the visible region

of the spectrum (0.63 mm). Input parameters,

including the complex index of refraction, grain

size, and grain size distribution for both soil and

snow are reported in Table 3.1 (Warren 1984, Mish-

chenko et al. 1999). A total of 641 coeﬃcients of the

Legendre expansion were used to properly describe

the phase function. Fig. 3.7 demonstrates the reﬂec-

tance variability associated with intimate mixtures Figure 3.7. BRF simulations for intimate mixtures (in

volume percentage) of ice and sediment/soil. The over-

of ice and sediment/soil. Clearly, the magnitude of

all magnitude (i.e., albedo) decreases as the percentage

reﬂectance decreases as the percentage of sediment/

of soil increases. BRF patterns are also a function of the

soil increases. The anisotropic nature of reﬂectance mixture percentage. This set of simulations shows that

is also noteworthy, as pure ice exhibits a highly BRF patterns can be potentially used to discriminate

variable pattern that is directionally dependent. between various surface materials and conditions in

The anisotropic pattern changes with increasing glacier environments. Figure can also be viewed as

sediment, such that azimuthal reﬂectance variations Online Supplement 3.7.

70 Radiative transfer modeling in the cryosphere

Figure 3.8. Simulated spectral reﬂectance curves from 390 nm to 710 nm as a function of suspended particles and

phytoplankton concentrations, wind speed, and Sun angle. Simulations are based on an analytical ﬁt of the

HYDROLIGHT radiative transfer model adapted to simulate Case 2 water. (A) Eﬀect of suspended matter on

deep-lake water reﬂectance. As concentration increases, spectral variability decreases, although the magnitude of

reﬂectance increases across the wavelength range. (B) Eﬀect of phytoplankton, causing increased reﬂectance with

a peak in the green region of the spectrum. (C) Eﬀect of wind speed (u) on spectral reﬂectance. A decrease in wind

speed results in higher reﬂectance. (D) Eﬀect of solar zenith angle on reﬂectance. The range of angles causes a small

change in reﬂectance but no signiﬁcant change in absorption. Figure can also be viewed as Online Supplement 3.8.

increases, scattering dominates over absorption. In

addition, measurements over Lake Constance water Radiative transfer theory is a powerful tool that can

(Gege 1998, Heege 2000) showed that scattering be employed to quantify the amount of radiation

(and backscattering) is fairly insensitive to wave- reﬂected by glacier surfaces and glacier lake water.

length. In most cases, glacier lake turbidity is so The equations of radiative transfer, which describe

high that large optical depths eﬀectively preclude the balance of photons that are being absorbed and

transmittance of light that has reﬂected oﬀ the lake scattered in their interaction with the host medium,

bottom, except in uncommon cases of extremely are mathematically complex. Nevertheless, over the

shallow lakes and areas fringing the edges of deep past few decades, advancements in numerical mod-

lakes. The more usual bathymetry of glacier lakes eling of RTEs have provided the scientiﬁc commun-

causes very narrow edge zones where the bottom is ity with RT software that permits the computation

sensed, so to a good approximation one can com- of physical quantities of interest in remote sensing

pletely ignore bottom reﬂectance and assume a (e.g., BRF and spectral albedo) both eﬃciently and

condition of inﬁnite optical thickness. However, accurately. Such RTE-based radiance calculations,

by modifying bottom boundary conditions (i.e., however, are only meaningful if knowledge of the

assuming that the bottom of the lake is reﬂecting), medium’s optical properties is available. Such

RT code for water can be employed to compute the RTEs require the input of explicit models for

spectral reﬂectance of shallow lakes. Importantly, single-scattering albedo and scattering phase func-

such simulations require guestimating the spectral tion, which in turn depend upon the use of ab-

reﬂectance properties of the lake bottom. sorption and scattering coeﬃcients (as well as

References 71

eﬃciencies), the asymmetry parameter (or Legendre depend continuously on the data. Recent mathe-

coeﬃcients describing series expansion of the phase matical advancements in the ﬁeld of statistics

function), particle concentrations, wavelength of applied to machine learning (e.g., neural networks,

interest, as well as size and shape of the single-type Gaussian processes, regularized sliced inverse

particles/mixture of many-type particles describing regression), however, have made model inversion

the medium. Mie theory is the most popular way to more manageable. Examples of such approaches

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Based on the assumption that a single particle is cations in Earth and planetary science (e.g., Furfaro

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compute the aforementioned parameters as a func- 2009). The latter reinforce the signiﬁcance of RT

tion of the complex index of refraction and particle modeling for studying and understanding the

size. The spherical particle assumption has been Earth’s cryosphere.

shown not to be limiting for snow and ice mixtures,

but does not accurately model soil/sediment optical

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